Remarks Before the National Committee of the St. Louis Good Roads Congress at the White House
I wish to greet you particularly, and I am sure I need not say how entirely I sympathize with the movement that you are championing for better means of communication. The road is the symbol of civilization. Take our great province of Alaska—I doubt if there is anything more needed for the development of Alaska on permanent lines than the building up of a proper system of roads, and, where is it impossible to make wagon roads, trails. Throughout our country our citizens will have to turn their energies to improving the means of intercourse—that is, the roads—between community and community, because we are a civilized people and we cannot afford to have barbaric methods of communication.
Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks Before the National Committee of the St. Louis Good Roads Congress at the White House Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/343674